Scottish Business Briefing – Thursday 16 May, 2013

Scottish Gas-owner Centrica pledged to use the extra profit it has generated to keep prices down. Picture: PA
Scottish Gas-owner Centrica pledged to use the extra profit it has generated to keep prices down. Picture: PA
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WELCOME to’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.


Scots economy begins ‘more robust recovery’

ACTIVITY among Scottish businesses rose at its fastest pace for 12 months during April, suggesting the economy is beginning a “more robust recovery”, the Bank of Scotland said today The lender’s purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 53.1 last month from 51.1 in March, following an increase in orders for the fifth month in a row (Scotsman).

Read all today’s economics news from


Oil will last for rest of century claims Ewing

SCOTLAND’S energy minister, Fergus Ewing, has claimed North Sea oil and gas production will continue until the end of this century. Mr Ewing suggested that if the right policies were pursued Scotland’s offshore oil industry, which is key to the SNP’s independence plans, would still be productive up to the year 2100 (Scotsman).

Centrica will use extra profit to keep prices down

Scottish Gas-owner Centrica this morning pledged to use the extra profit it has generated from the “exceptionally-cold winter” to keep prices down for its customers. In a trading update ahead of its annual general meeting (AGM), the FTSE 100 company said that the amount of gas used by the average household rose by 18 per cent over the first four months of the year (Scotsman).

Biogas company secures £7.25m Barclays funding

ENERGEN Biogas, the Cumbernauld-based waste-to-power specialist, has sealed a £7.25 million funding deal with high street banking giant Barclays. The company – a joint venture between Shanks Waste Management and Dundee-based Paragon Efficiencies – is accessing the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme through Barclays’ “Cashback for Business” programme (Scotsman).

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Rapeseed oil firm growing success

A GRAMPIAN rapeseed oil producer is looking forward to driving sales at home and abroad after winning three major supply deals. Up-and-coming Mackintosh of Glendaveny is preparing to export for the first time after linking up with a Dubai-based food wholesaler, which will distribute its cold-pressed oils in the emirate and throughout the Middle East (Herald).

Read all today’s food, drink and agriculture news from


Defence Policy: Protecting Scotland & Preserving Jobs – 14 June, Edinburgh

Join delegates from the defence industry, legal, PR, academia and more at this hugely important conference. Top speakers will tackle the burning issues facing the defence industry, one of Scotland’s most economically significant sectors.

( The Scotsman Conferences)


Lights, camera, action for Vacion tracking system

A Scottish engineering entrepreneur has launched a range of tracking systems for cameras to capitalise on the boom in video production encouraged by smartphones. Kevin Priestley’s Vacion produces a range of systems that can be used to take the kind of tracking shots that are a staple of movies. They can move the cameras from left to right or take shots that pan up and down (HErald).

Read all today’s technology news from